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He Turns Washers, Roller Chain Into "Art"
Gerald Siem likes to find new uses for old things. He recently came up with an artistic way to weld old washers together to make decorative metal bowls.
  “Everything is recycled. I’ve made about 15 bowls so far, and no two are exactly alike,” says the Junction City, Wis., man. “I always weld a wrench or bottle opener into every bowl just for fun.”
  Siem gets the washers “wherever I can find them”. The washers range from 1/2 to 2 in. dia. All are sandblasted, and once they’re welded together with an acetylene torch, they’re clear coated to create a smooth sheen.
  His biggest bowl measures 20 in. dia. The top-most washers are welded to a ring made from 1/4-in. dia. rod. The bottom of the bowl rests on a base made from a slice cut out of a semi truck’s muffler pipe.
  He also has made oblong fruit bowls, as well as small soup bowls. The fruit bowl measures 12 in. long and 10 in. wide, and is 1 1/2 in. deep.
  “To make the bowls I took a farm disk apart and turned it upside down to use it as a form. When I remove the form what’s left is the bowl,” says Siem.
  “Everyone likes my washer bowls, but I haven’t made any for sale. It takes a lot of time to make them, and I think I’d have to charge more than what most people would want to pay,” says Siem.
  He also welds lengths of used roller chain together to make one-of-a-kind signs that measure anywhere from 5 to 9 in. high and up to 6 ft. long.
  “I get the roller chains from various local sources. I do all the welding on the back side of the roller chains so the front side will look smooth. All the letters are welded to a channel iron base.”
  Siem says he’s willing to make washer bowl and roller chain art for others. “The price will depend on a number of factors. It would be best to come out and see the products I’ve made first,” he says.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Gerald Siem, 901 Hwy. G, Junction City, Wis. 54443 (ph 715 457-2183).

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2013 - Volume #37, Issue #3